According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner, including behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.Although you might think of domestic violence as an issue that only impacts poor women or women of color, it can happen to anyone regardless of race, socioeconomic background, educational level, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. Yes, even men can be the victims of abuse.
If you are interested in reducing domestic violence, there are several things you can do:
- Get educated on the facts.
- Help a friend or family member who is being abused
- Volunteer for your local domestic violence shelter or rape crisis center.
- Share your story if you are a survivor to reduce stigma and encourage those experiencing domestic violence to seek help
- Take action and become an advocate.
- Educate others by becoming a community health educator.
Dr. Sarah Gareau is the Director of the new L-R Master of Public Health program. Dr. Gareau has planned public health programming at the state and national levels related to women’s health and rights and will soon be serving on the Rape Crisis Center of Catawba County’s Board of Directors.